Dragon 1/144 F-16C Falcon




Around $4.00 MSRP


14 FS/432 FW


Scott Van Aken




 One of the great success stories in modern military aircraft has been the F-16. Initially designed as a light-weight fighter, it has evolved into a very capable multi-mission aircraft with abilities well beyond the simple interceptor that was initially envisioned. Today, the F-16 is basically a mud mover with a wide array of air to ground weaponry available. Still, when not burdened by all those weapons, it is a most capable dog-fighter and is used by many ANG units in the air defense role.

Seeing the need for a larger engine, the F-16C was developed in the early 1980s and is basically the type that is still being built, though more recent versions are considerably different in terms of engine version and electronics from those first F-16Cs. Though the F-16As are all but gone, even the earliest 83-xxx F-16Cs are still being flown by training units and by ANG/Reserve squadrons. Unlike the F-15, which is slowly coming to an end of its production life, there are still F-16s coming off the assembly line and it seems as if they will continue to be built for years on.


 Dragon has been pretty much at the forefront of 1/144 military aircraft kits for some time and this 1993 boxing of their F-16C is typical of what has been done.  You get a fairly well detailed aircraft that is mostly weapons and pylons. The F-16C itself is pretty basic, consisting of an upper and lower fuselage with the wings incorporated in the upper fuselage. There are well done landing gear and there is detail in the gear wells. The kit provides what is really an F-16A+ with a small addition that has the F-16C fin, AMRAAM missiles and a two seat cockpit.

The cockpit is really little more than two figures molded into the tub. In this scale, it is sufficient as little more can be seen under the somewhat thick transparency. I'm sure that those who like to super-detail these small kits will be able to scratch build an interior, but most of us will be happy with what is provided. I have to also say that the missiles are a bit oddly shaped and are really only just approximations of what they are supposed to be. Though there is little room, some weight must be added to prevent tail sitting. I wish that a stand were included as these kits beg to be done gear up.

Instructions are on the back of the box and provide sufficient assembly  instructions with color references being from the Gunze range. The small sheet (which in my kit had started to yellow) is for one plane from the Misawa Japan based 14th FS. I've used Dragon decals in the past and they work well. I don't know of any aftermarket sheets in 1/144 for this plane so you are pretty well stuck with what comes in the box.



A lot of people build in 1/144 becase they either like the scale, can not afford more expensive kits or don't have room for anything larger. These kits are pretty well 'pocket money' kits such as the Airfix, Matchbox, and Revell kits we used to buy when kids. They build well and provide a nice change from the norm for most of us.

Kit courtesy of IPMS Great Plain's great raffle!

March 2005

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